U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, joined Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday this morning to discuss trade and Russia’s continued aggression toward Ukraine.
Blunt made statements following the interview:
On Trade Developments at the G-20 Summit:
“Well, Chris, first let me join all the Americans who are expressing such gratitude for President Bush in his life and his great example. But on this topic, people like me who have really been concerned about the president’s stated trade policy can take some encouragement about what happened in the last couple of days, the signing of the U.S., Canada, Mexico agreement. That’s a big step that six months ago or even just a few weeks ago we were concerned we would not be making that kind of progress. And on the Chinese front, you’re exactly right. We need more specifics here. The ag products that come from my state, that come from the middle of the country, I think the soybean exports to China have gone to virtually zero from about one out of every three rows of Missouri soybeans were being exported to China. So whether it’s those kinds of crops, or pork, or beef, or chicken, we need to see some real specific figures here. This has hurt a lot of Missouri farm families and farm families all over the country, but the president’s goal to get China in a better and fairer place in trade is the right goal. I’m just hoping that what we’ve seen in the Canada-Mexico side of the ledger is now going to have the same kind of impact as we are negotiating seriously with China.”
On the Future of Trade Negotiations:
“I am concerned about it and the president knows that. He’s been very open to talking with me about it but I think it’s hard to win a trade war and I also think though that the facts on the table with China are stronger than any other country in terms of our legitimate concerns and the more other things that the president can move off the table, whether it’s Canada, Mexico, the E.U., Japan, the more of those things he can move off the table, the more flexibility he has with China. But I would like to see China become the market that they should be for us, but I would also like to see China create the opportunities for American companies that invest there, to do things besides just steal our intellectual property and violate the agreements that China has clearly made and doesn’t stand up to.”
On the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia Investigation:
“Well, you know I haven’t thought a lot about the Mueller timing here. I certainly do think that lying to the Intelligence Committee that I’m part of is a big mistake for whoever does it and creates lots of problems for the committee itself. You know, when you lie to a congressional committee, when you lie to an investigation where hundreds and thousands of man hours, people hours are being spent, the question you asked the next witness may be different, a witness you don’t call may be somebody you would have called if you had gotten the right answer. I’m glad to see the special prosecutor taking that particular crime seriously.”
On Russian Aggression Toward Ukraine:
“But on the Russian front, I hope if the president did have any words to exchange with President Putin it was outrage about what the Russians are doing in Ukraine. It is totally unacceptable. The president, I think, announced that he wasn’t going to have that meeting pretty quickly after what happened in Ukraine, as opposed to in response to anything else. And if the president had a chance to talk to President Putin, I hope his talk was very frank and no holds barred that we are not going to accept the kind of activity that the Russians are looking at in Ukraine and Crimea and we better send a strong message about the rest of Eastern Europe.”
Click here to watch the video.